By Meg Olson
The race for Whatcom County Executive will be in the spotlight at the upcoming Point Roberts Registered Voters Association candidates forum.
Incumbent Jack Louws and challenger Joy Gilfilen have both agreed to attend the October 8 event running from 7 to 9 p.m. at the Gulf Road community center.
Candidates for county council members for the three districts have also been invited. Barbara Brenner, running unopposed in district 3, will be there. Incumbent Satpal Sidhu representing district 2 will attend, but his opponent Kathy Kershner has not confirmed. Todd Donovan, running for the district 1 council position, will attend but his opponent Bruce Ayers has not confirmed.
Both candidates for the Port of Bellingham’s district 3, Gary S. Jensen and Bobby Briscoe will be there.
Running unopposed, county sheriff Bill Elfo has also agreed to attend, and will encourage voters to support an increase in sales tax for the construction of a new jail. “There are critical life safety issues and it needs to be replaced,” Elfo said, citing crumbling infrastructure in the old and over-capacity facility. “We also need space to provide services – mental health and substance abuse – to reduce recidivism.
A number of local candidates are also expected to attend. Fire commissioner Stan Riffle will face challenger Judson Meraw in November, and Arthur Reber will run against Wayne Knowles for the position of the water district board temporarily held by Ron Clark. Three parks commissioners are also running unopposed, as is Kandace Harper at the hospital district.
The event is a moderated town hall meeting in which candidates for each position will be given time to speak followed by a question and answer period.